Front Sway Bar Drop Links

I fabricated drop links to connect the front sway bar to the lower control arms. The drop link was fabricated by cutting 5/8” aluminum hex bar to length and using a lathe to remove the corners (i.e. make round) the entire length other than 0.6” on each end. The hex on the end enables a wrench to turn the link and the round section lightens the link… plus it looks trick. The ends were then tapped and drilled for 3/8”-24 Heim joints. One end is a right-hand thread and the other end is a left-hand thread. This is done so that when the link is rotated clockwise both ends expand and when the link is rotated counterclockwise both ends retract. If both ends had the same thread, rotating the link would have no effect. One end would expand and the other would contract by the same amount. I tapped the holes 1.2” deep to accommodate the entire shaft of the Heim joint. These were by far the deepest holes I’ve ever tapped and they took longer than I thought to complete. I also had to buy a new tap because I had never tapped a left-handed hole.

The Heim joint fit perfectly in the clevis. This makes sense because the clevis can be rotated so that its open ends are aligned with the Heim joint’s body (i.e., no binding issues). However, the mount in the sway bar arm is 3/4” and the only Heim joints that I could find were 1/2” wide. Since this joint will see some misalignment I didn’t want to use washers to make up the difference. I spent some time looking for 1/8” cone washers until I realized that they would be too thin to do much which is probably why nobody make them.

At that point “H” suggested that I look for high-misalignment Heim joints and I found one that was 0.875” wide. I made a jig out of some angle aluminum and a 3/8” bolt to keep everything square when removing 0.0625” (i.e. 1/16”) from each end on the sander. Apparently I can’t tap a perfectly straight hole (even after a couple of tries), so I used two nuts to lock everything in place ;-)

The lower control arm was drilled to mount a clevis. It would have be a lot easier to drill this hole on a drill press rather than when the control arm was mounted to the car, but I didn’t want to take apart the front suspension again. I used a drilling jig to ensure that the hole was square.

I also had to cut all of the grade 8 bolts for clearance reasons.